As a strong financial and moral supporter of PBS, I am simultaneously appreciative of PBS's even-handed coverage of the Aereo story and disappointed by their participation in the suit.
There's much to dislike about Aereo's business model. The company's technical and legal maneuverings allow them to excessively monetize an otherwise low-cost service. Like so many water bottling companies, they provide a small convenience, and they should be allowed to, but there are good philosophical and financial reasons not to buy what they're peddling.
The larger story is that the trajectory for all broadcast media is obvious: consumers will always push for free, accessible content. Aereo's service is just a stopgap and will ultimately fizzle out along with Viacom, News Corporation, and their peers.
That's what makes PBS's position in this all the more troubling. PBS actually has one of the only viable and worthwhile models: viewer-supported broadcasting. Given that PBS survives on the generosity and goodwill of its viewers and that its viewers clearly want accessibility, they should focus on delivering what viewers want - open, free, accessible content - directly to their audience. They've made huge inroads over the past few years with their online services but come on, go for broke and put everything that you can online. That's the best way to cut out the middlemen, outpace the hamstrung big medias, deliver uncompromised programming, and win the hearts, minds, and support of the public.